Q: We have a new pastor who prefers purifying the vessels after communion at the altar. While I understand that this is an option, he takes between 3-4 minutes to accomplish this. In the meantime, song has ended and the people remain kneeling. He argues that this is a perfect time to close our eyes and be alone with Jesus. Do you have any thoughts regarding this?
A: Well, it’s not the way I do things, but it is within the range of possibilities. GIRM 279 says that the credence table is the preferred place for cleansing the vessels, but the action may be done at the altar.